Dem group launches $2M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators

Dem group launches $2M ad buy to boost vulnerable senators
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority PAC, a prominent Democratic outside group, is launching a $1.8 million effort to defend two incumbents in Missouri and Indiana.

Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillNelson campaign to donate K from Al Franken group to charity 'Kavanaugh' chants erupt at Trump rally in Missouri The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify MORE (Mo.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh McCaskill to oppose Kavanaugh nomination MORE (Ind.) are both vulnerable Democrats in states President TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Ex-Trump staffer out at CNN amid “false and defamatory accusations” Democrats opposed to Pelosi lack challenger to topple her MORE won overwhelmingly in 2016.

And they are already top targets for Republicans, who are hitting the two for voting against Trump's tax cuts plan. Conservative group Americans for Prosperity is readying a $4 million push against McCaskill and Donnelly, according to The Associated Press.

Senate Majority PAC will run two television ads defending the senators and hitting back at the tax law. The ads cite analysis from the Tax Policy Center that claims the tax law will give "83 percent of tax benefits to the richest 1 percent."

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“Claire McCaskill and Joe Donnelly refuse to cut Medicare and balloon the national debt so that the Koch brothers can get another tax break,” said Chris Hayden, Senate Majority PAC's communications director, referring to the GOP megadonors who help fund Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group.

“While their Republican opponents will do anything to impress out-of-state billionaires, Claire and Joe have a bipartisan record of putting middle class families first.”

Republicans plan to use the tax law against Democrats in the midterms, arguing that Americans will view the reforms favorably as their take-home pay rises.

Senate Majority PAC is also planning a smaller ad buy in West Virginia, according to the media buying firm Medium Buying. There, Democrats are hoping to bolster Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDoug Jones to McConnell: Don't 'plow right through' with Kavanaugh Cook Political Report moves Texas Senate race to ‘toss-up’ The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh MORE (D), who has faced similar attacks from GOP groups.

The campaign for Josh Hawley, the top Republican in the race to face off against McCaskill, slammed the new ads in a statement Friday.

"It’s not surprising that Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE’s PAC is launching an attack ad to try and save Claire McCaskill from the conservative voters of Missouri. After all, they vacation and attend baseball games together,” said Kelli Ford, a Hawley campaign spokeswoman. 

“Claire didn’t support President Trump’s middle-class tax cuts – she opposed them. Josh Hawley is also fully committed to protecting Social Security and Medicare for our seniors. Missouri voters deserve better than discredited Democrat talking points.”

Updated: 4:52 p.m.